COM125 Calendar & Reading Assignments (Spring 2007)
This is a summarized version of the class calendar. For the latest version with the reading links, click here.

Jan 15 – Introduction
– Who are you, Who am I?
– What’s this weekly blogging about?
– What is the Internet (Try defining it!)

Jan 22 – Blogging 101
We’ll run through some basics on blogging, as well as key social media tools, such as RSS and folksonomy. You’ll learn how to have a voice online, as well as to interact with the rest of the blogosphere. Finally, we’ll talk about how you should blog for the course.

Jan 29 History of the Internet
The history of the internet extends further into the past than most people realize. This week, we will discuss the origins of the internet, its development over the past decades, and its current status.

Feb 5th – Sharing, Copyright and Creative Culture
A primary design goal of the internet was to simplify the sharing of information. By all accounts, it has succeeded in achieving this goal. The mass popularization of the internet brought this capacity for sharing into conflict with some existing philosophical, social, and legal institutions. This week, we will be discussing copyright, sharing, and the impacts of the internet on creative culture.

Feb 12th – Internet Economies
A gift economy is an economic system in which goods and services are given, rather than traded. The internet has allowed for the development of several gift economies.

Feb 19th – No Class: Chinese New Year Holiday!

Feb 26th – Online Identity
What is “identity” in a computer mediated environment, where a new email address is often all that is required to create a new virtual persona? Guest speaker from IBM to brief us on the latest trends on Internet Security (e.g. phishing).

Mar 5th – Mid-Term Exam Review

Mar 7th – MID-TERM EXAM (Wed, 10.30 – 11.30am)
A combined class exam will be held during consultation hour, Wednesday, March 7, 10:30 – 11:30am. Note that there will be no regular classes for group A on Wed. and B on Thurs.

Mar 12th – Privacy and Surveillance
Privacy and lacks thereof are increasingly important topics in the information age. This week: privacy, surveillance, marketing, and politics. NOTE: Be familiar with the “Identity Theft” materials assigned earlier.

Mar 19th – Online Communities
What is community? Can community emerge from online interaction? What are the implication of the internet for traditional communities? This week, we’ll be discussing the concept of computer-mediated community.

Mar 26th – Politics
How has the advent of the Internet changed politics? Can the Internet truly create democracy? Why isn’t there Internet election voting?

Apr 2nd – Journalism
Journalist vs. Bloggers, Whistleblowers and more…

Apr 9th – Online Gaming

Virtual capitalism and why should we take games seriously.

Apr 16th – The Future of the Internet
What does the future of the Internet hold? Imagine yourself as a social scientist and suggest the next big thing. The most interesting entries will be shared and discussed in class.

Apr 18th – Final Exam Review

Apr 25th – FINAL EXAM (Wednesday, 10am – 12pm)

Disclaimer: The instructor reserves the right to adjust the syllabus accordingly.


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